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Curtin University of Technology

A Child
by Jake Dennis

Sleeps on his father’s table at the finish of the dance
left hand clutching the string of a rising blue balloon.
A rainbow of chips, spit and lollies in his mouth,
he smells the liquor of strangers’ voices.
A galaxy, to blanket him this late night
as an older boy wrenches the blue moon from the air.

Innocence, like trust, from dreaming fingers removed
a son wakes to confusion. Hard, black table
a guitarist’s bed for his son
is changed. There is no father. Yellow
bulbs scream through ruddy searching
eyes. His palms present knotted labyrinths.



I wait. Jason needs a kidney.  
Will it come tomorrow? A train has stopped.  
The Art Gallery approaches.     

Having trekked and re-trekked hospital linoleum, forward
and back, each sole
meets brick as though each shoe were my skin.

I comfort my hands, these veins,
drained with the passing of night. My son
sweated through his gown and his torso grew slight.
Once, he smiled like a pie; the footy flew heavenward.
And riding out like a prince beneath his red cap,
he soared through the streets like Aladdin.  

Brain-dead saviour: Giver of life,
create a legacy.
The kidney
a precious bean
has your living eyes.  

Near the Gallery’s glass eyes, I halt.
The doors close.
A band of teenagers swagger past—
hooded jacket and jeans, they bare branded backs.
Tomorrow hurries forward.
The organ lingers and floats like a spirit. Will it? Will it.

Afternoon declines to dusk… I near the station.
A train sputters and coughs.
Another surges like a drunk, another bolts.

A father needs his son. I’ll wait.



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